Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wise words to live by

Three out of four.

Stay warm, get some sleep, wash your hands. Be kind. 

~ signature line from a friend 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Masterful teacher, willing students

Mimi and Josh, January 2013.
It was not so much the content of the spoken words, but the willingness to match her muteness with our own.  To sit in silence and to meet her gaze; to mindfully connect through touch; to enter her space, her world, with her as teacher.  

It takes more than a measure of courage and honesty to open to grace; does it not?  Yet why would we not?  What payback or reward could possibly compare to that elusive place where intimacy resides?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter splendor in the Shenandoah Valley


















The lane,
dusted with sugary snow,
  carves a path
 through mown fields.

Just over the hill they come,
    gazing at first,
then shoot forth in unison
      like frantic dancers,
their hooves and limbs churning
to lift their muscled bodies.

Swift passage
then stillness.

Candles flicker
 in the distance
 over the warm hearth 
as we draw near,
 the house and trees
 in silhouette
 against the evening sky.

Conversations rise up
 within us
   even before we reunite.
Such is the blessing of this family.
Such is the blessing of this time.


Friday, January 25, 2013

The wisdom of children

Along the trail today
we found     
a pile of bones picked clean
of fur and muscle.
Nudging the skull
from its frozen bed
I turned to the small child
watching me,
his eyes holding wonder.

Was it death he saw
or the way I touched 
the snow-dusted bones?

Those young eyes.
How they told me
to leave the remnants 
there.




Monday, January 21, 2013

Backyard excavation scorecard

August,  2010.
Dogs 2, Humans 1

We were granted a point for our creative efforts in containing the elaborate digging project begun by Maude, but the pups secured an easy win with their resourcefulness in slipping under and jumping over the netting.



Humans 3, Dogs 1

January, 2013.
Call us cocky, but with 7 yards of hog's fuel spread over the entire back yard, we've got a leg up on these pups.  The frozen mud is out of sight and the chips smell divine.  As for Maude and her aiding and abetting pal, Eli, they're already scratching around at every opportunity.  

Next up, Astro Turf.













Monday, January 14, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A balm for winter

Uncle Bill lets it fly with John, Barns of Rose Hill, Berryville, VA
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.  

Proverbs 17:22

Monday, January 7, 2013

A poem for all seasons

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive  
with one another, we walk here
in the light of this unlikely world
that isn't ours for long.
May we spend generously
the time we are given.
May we enact our responsibilities
as thoroughly as we enjoy
our pleasures. May we see with clarity,
may we seek a vision
that serves all beings, may we honor
the mystery surpassing our sight,
and may we hold in our hands
the gift of good work
and bear it forth whole, as we
were borne forth by a power we praise
to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.

"A Prayer among Friends" by John Daniel, from Of Earth


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Glorious normal

Normal life can be extraordinary.

~ excerpted from Today's Step newsletter

Some days offer more clarity than others on this simple notion.  Today, for me, is one such day.  To finding and accepting the extraordinary amid the flotsam and jetsam of life, and to honoring the sacred that resides there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Genetically speaking


I'd like to tip my cap in gratitude to George Charles Derick, my late father, who bequeathed the cleaning gene to my brother, older sister, and me.